Artist Forum: Fatma Bucak

Summer 2015 International Artist-in-Residence, Fatma Bucak, answers questions about her work, her life, and her time at Artpace.

Where are you from?

I am from Turkey. Actually I was born in a small village close to the Syrian border that used to be part of Syria. I am also Kurdish, one of the minorities in Turkey.

When did you start getting interested in art? Was there a defining moment you experienced that indicated art should be your chosen path?

 I studied philosophy first and I was always intrigued by art and its relationship with wider society. There came a point where I felt the need to make certain ideas “tangible” and that I suppose is when I became an artist.

Give three words that describe Artpace to you.

Novel, Diligent, Necessary

Tell us a little about your work. 

My work embraces different media: photography, video, sound through which I explore subjects that I am interested in: political identity, religious mythology, and landscape as history. In all the media there is a performance and what you see is the final remains of each of those of those performances. Often my work is participatory and the geographical place and its social and political presence roots my work, shapes it. The landscapes I work in generally have a historical memory; sometimes they play host to an iconographic scene I create; sometimes a silent witness. This is why even my studio becomes my landscape, my “land” on which I work.

How do you find inspiration?

I should say there is no divine guidance; it’s a hard graft. What I see, where I live, the time in which I live… all these shape my ideas and my sources. I act, I manifest in front of them. Every bit of my research becomes different prod points and anything that allows me to think is inspiration.